After Double Fine‘s recent success with Kickstarter, it’s apparently the new craze for indie developers. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that more indie developers never looked it as a serious source of funding since it’s been used often to create various artistic projects. Still, if the two million that Double Fine now has for its next project is enough to get indie developers’ eyes to light up, mouths to salivate, and to finally see Kickstarter for the potential it has, that’s enough for me.
Anyway, Brian Fargo, founder of inXile, co-founder of Interplay, and one of the original creators of Wasteland, decided to follow Tim Schafer and his merry band’s example and fund inXile’s reboot of Wasteland through Kickstarter. No Mutants Allowed (NMA) had a chance to speak with Fargo in order to shed a little light on what swayed inXile’s decision to get funding through Kickstarter and what’s in store for the upcoming reboot.
Fargo had wanted to work on a Wasteland sequel for a long while. He and Jason Anderson had been working on pitching the Wasteland reboot to publishers, but found that they had little
“interest in a party based RPG and they felt like they would need to go up against the production costs of BioWare which are in the tens of millions of dollars.”
Essentially, a RPG requires a big budget to produce and publishers just aren’t willing to fork over the money to try and fight in a market that BioWare and Bethesda have already done a pretty good job of cornering. Not to mention, in my opinion, the post-apocalyptic genre is already a little over-saturated at this point in time. A large portion of Wasteland fans might want a sequel, but it doesn’t reflect the feelings of the general population. A Kickstarter might just give inXile a good indication of who’s actually interested in being a paying customer for the game.
At this point and time, it appears that Fargo’s interested in getting much of the original team that worked on Wasteland for this project. Michael Stackpole, one of the original’s designers, is already on board, and Fargo has confirmed to NMA that he “will be speaking with Ken (St. Andre) soon.”
Since the project’s still in its early stages, a lot of things are still up in the air. When asked about the reboot’s design, what engine inXile will use to the develop the game, and what platforms they plan on releasing Wasteland onto, Fargo responded that since the project’s going to be fan-funded, it’s largely up to them. For now, all Fargo could answer was that inXile would probably not be using an engine they’ve developed since he wanted to reserve the limited funding for assets and design. As for platforms, inXile would probably be focusing on Wasteland‘s original audience on the PC, and possibly releasing the game on mobile/tablet platforms, depending on the demand.
Overall, I’m a bit lukewarm about the entire situation. As someone who isn’t familiar with the original Wasteland, I don’t think I’m qualified to extensively comment on the reboot. However, I also can’t say I can get excited about the reboot based off of inXile’s past work. Hunted: The Demon’s Forge and Choplifter HD, to put it lightly, were both duds that I picked up and regretted doing so. Considering how much of a passion project this probably is for Brian Fargo, and seeing how much work he’s already put into the reboot, I’m willing to give this Wasteland reboot a chance. When we asked Bruce Schlickbernd, one of the original few who worked on Wasteland and RipTen’s Todd Schlickbernd’s pop, about what he thought of the reboot, he responded “the fact that they acquired (Alan) Pavlish and Stackpole give the project a lot of credibility and show their dedication to making a faithful sequel.”
Well, if it looks good to Bruce, it looks good to me.